give a man everything he wants and in that moment, everything will not be everything -Immanuel Kant
hmm... lots of last minute changes of plan lately. I'm very glad for them. I haven't written in a while either. I'll just start writing and see what comes out. Isn't that what I always say?
Do you ever go about your day and then think back... and remember certain moments where you saw something and just stopped for a second to take it all in... it's in those moments that it feels like time slows down for a few seconds...and then restarts again full force. My days seem punctuated by these types of moments. Usually, I really like to tell someone about it... and sometimes I send a text... sometimes I just keep it to myself.
Here's one such moment:
It rained for 2 days a few days ago. My dad had bought me new windshield wipers in the middle of the heatwave that preceded the rain. I didn't bother to install them when I got them. I figured I'd have time. I... didn't install them before it rained and now we're headed for another little heat wave. Oh well. Anyway... I don't mind installing wipers, especially now that it's gotten so much easier with the hook type instead of the latch type. I had decided my sophomore year in college that knowing how to install windshield wipers was important... seeing as my driver's side windshield wiper had decided to liberate itself and fly off at the moment I needed it most... on the freeway in the middle of a torrential rain storm. I somehow got off the freeway without getting hit, found my way to an auto parts store after 2 different attendants at 2 different gas stations both sent me on a wild goose chase through orange county to find one... I bought and installed it after being completely drenched due having forgotten to bring an umbrella and accidentally stepping into a 6 inch puddle during my hunt. All this and... I now ALWAYS have an umbrella in my car and I've grown very attached to windshield wipers over the years. Anderson knew this.
When I got my car a few years ago... I was unhappy with my stock wipers. They worked, but not extremely well. He went and bought me new wipers to put on my new car because I couldn't bring myself to buy new wipers for a brand new car. I had forgotten about his thoughtful gift to me... until yesterday when I removed the old wipers and installed the new ones. I had somehow expected them to say Nissan on them or something, but they didn't. And then I remembered... that these were the wipers he had given me... not because I needed them, but because he knew that they would make me happy. I almost cried when I realized it.
I haven't thrown them away yet, but I will eventually. I'm glad that my dad didn't install my wipers... and I'm glad my friend didn't either. I'm glad that I did it myself because... it was one of those moments... a special moment when time stops and I remember just how awesome my beloved was. It was like a little love note... etched into that wiper blade... that said, "Tiff, I love you." If I hadn't done it myself, I would have missed it. I wouldn't have wanted to miss a love note left especially for me.
I've been crying for very strange reasons lately. Well... some strange reasons and some not-so-strange ones. I cried while watching House... when the brother offered his lung to his dying sister... so that a piece of him could live on in her... and also so that he wouldn't have to go on living without her. I cried while talking to a friend about what heaven will be like. I wondered if... even in the midst of all the people who will be joined and united there... if Jesus would hold my hand, walk with me... talk with me... and show me all the things that didn't get written down in the Bible for me to read 2,000 years after it happened. I wanna see. I wanna experience it. And I wondered what it would be like to hold Anderson's hand again. Our hands were the same size. He hated to admit it, but they were. His fingers were a little thicker and his palm slightly larger but... they were the same size. I wear his wedding band on my right hand. We could share batting gloves. He refused to wear my pink ones, but I know they fit him.
I was reading in Matthew about the Canaanite woman who cried out to Jesus for healing for her daughter. Jesus said that He had come for the lost sheep of the children of Israel... and that it's not good to give the children's bread and throw it to the dogs. And she said that even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table. And I cried. Why did I cry? I could only pinpoint 2 reasons... (1) that these crumbs that have fallen from the table... the ones that I, being a Gentile, have taken as scraps and remnants of the original meal... have saved my life. These little, tiny morsels... probably not unlike the particles that are perfunctorily brushed off the front of somebody's...shirt or tunic as refuse... have meant everything to me. They've healed me, restored me, nourished me, satisfied me and have given me more love, peace, and joy than I have experienced in all my years of living... and those were just the crumbs. Which brings me to reason (2)... that some of those seated at the table... who have been privileged to have been served the whole piece of bread... have rejected it. So I cried tears of gratitude, thanksgiving... and mourning. Very interesting tears those were.
I have very many moments during the course of a day where I feel like God intended for me to be right there at that specific time. Sometimes I feel like... depending on what happens... I intend to take one course for the day... but if something changes, I can go a different way just as easily... as if my life were plotted out on a flow chart and depending on this or that, I can go left or right, which completely alters the events of the day. Because I got called off from work for 6 hours, I had bonus hours on Thursday night to do whatever I wanted. I still had to go to the hospital to get my TB test read so I planned on... taking myself to eat something I haven't eaten before... and I just decided that today was the day that I try the carne asada bake at Costco since it's close to work. I'd actually planned on taking it to-go and sitting at a park to eat... but... the woman gave it to me on the plate so... I changed my plan and decided to eat half of it right then and there. As I was sitting and eating my bake, I contemplated my next move. What day was it? Thursday? Thursday night there's a farmer's market in downtown Fullerton... which a friend and I found by accident after meeting up for dinner on random Thursday night a few months ago. So... I decided to go get myself some kettle corn with my bonus time. I parked and walked... I had to use my phone to go find it because I generally thought I knew where I was going but I could have been wrong... I walked a short block in the wrong direction. Oh well. I turned and found the farmer's market. I could smell the kettle corn a block away. So I got my kettle corn and walked around a bit. I decided that it was getting cold outside... so I'd go sit at Starbucks or something and do my daily journaling... with a cup of hot... something. Hot chocolate, I decided while waiting in line. :) I walked into Starbucks and the barista was eyeing what was in my hand... which was my Coffee Bean tumbler... and my kettle corn... and I thought she was going to make a comment about coffee shop loyalty... when she actually made a comment about how she'd wanted kettle corn that day and she decided not to get it. So I offered her some kettle corn. It took 3 tries before she'd actually take it. How very "Asian" of her... but she wasn't Asian. :P And a little while later, she gave me 4 Via samples while thanking me for the kettle corn... and then she walked by my table later on and thanked me again for the kettle corn. I was happy that just a small act of sharing what I had in excess (cuz I bought the big bag)... could make someone so happy. So grateful. I was glad that I had ended up there... if anything to give this girl some kettle corn.
I ended up that night at In Transit... and I got to play Cranium (which I love) and listen to a message about being a Godly woman (which I'd been excited to hear)... and catch up with a good friend I hadn't seen in a while. We hadn't hung out in a long time so we made tentative plans... to hang out IF I didn't have to go to work that night. I was getting attached to the idea of hanging out with my friend but I hadn't reached the point in the flow chart where I could give it a definite green light yet. Ended up that I didn't have to go in to work so I could rest that night and go hang out the next morning... we went to the gym! I went to the gym in the morning like a normal person. :) I say "normal person" because normally I live a vampire's life... being asleep from early morning until mid afternoon. I'm rambling.
Anyway, I had a really awesome day today. We worked out in the morning, we chatted over breakfast, we went to the market, I went to the chiropractor and listened to a sermon on the way there and back... I met up with two lovely ladies for lunch and had a very important and encouraging discussion... I came home and had another very important conversation with a very good friend which I was GLAD I was home to have... I got to spend an hour or so at the park... soaking in the glorious California sunshine... and I sat and marveled at how all of this took place... because the census on my floor was low last night... and I was somehow at the top of the list to be called off... and that the last 12 hours were like a beautiful gift prepared especially for me... another love note that I was intended to find... and remember that... I am loved.
"As you wish", was all he ever said to her. That day she was amazed to discover that when he was saying, "as you wish", what he meant was, "I love you". And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back. -S. Morganstern? LOL. From the Princess Bride.
Now am I self-absorbed if I think that God made all of this happen just for me? I think that in the intricate ways that God orchestrates our daily lives... he intertwines gifts for me with gifts given to others through me... and then masterfully leads me to a place where I am able to see and appreciate all of His genius through it all. I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to be doing right now and I am so, so content. It makes me smile.
In two separate conversations with two women I talked to today... both women mentioned things that had happened in the past... things which they'd either stumbled upon or remembered recently, which they told me had really blessed them. One of them was from an activity that we'd done in small groups. On one side of a piece of construction paper I had each woman write down 3 things they didn't like about themselves... and on the other side wrote down "[insert name here] is beautiful because...". We took turns writing down on that side... all the reasons why we thought this woman was beautiful... and then I collected all of them, laminated them and gave them back to each woman. Those who have received laminated "gifts" from me... you know how I love to laminate things. :) I didn't even remember doing this activity, but my friend found it recently and brought it to share with us at lunch. Now I wished I could find mine.
So I went home and went looking for mine... I couldn't find it but I found another little booklet that I'd also made for my small group members... for us to write our weekly notes and reflections as we went through this book called "calm my anxious heart". Chapter 3 was entitled "content to be me". I wrote down that my personality was quiet, strong and determined... and that I always get what I want.
I laughed. I laughed because a few days ago, I met up with someone else and I remember telling her that God always gives me the desires of my heart... even the silly things. It's just another way of saying that... I always get what I want. I guess some things... haven't really changed.
A few things that I wrote down on the little booklet that have changed... are the things that I was bitter about back then. I wrote down that I was bitter that I was not outgoing and that I don't get along with people. I also wrote down that my life purpose was to support Anderson. I wrote this almost exactly 2 years ago. Before I was married. Before I was widowed. If I think about that girl that I was back then... I... cry. I cry for her... knowing what she's going to go through... knowing the pain and sorrow she's going to have to endure in the near future... and I also cry for her because... I know that she's just about to find the greatest love note of her life. And... I'm excited for her.
I recently answered a question... to describe a time in your life... a defining moment... when God has revealed Himself to you and you knew you were never the same after that. I always come back to that one day... after having being widowed... that I woke up and gasped... and suddenly realized that my entire life... all the people that came in and out, the relationships that came and went, all the events that happenchanced (or so I thought) into my life's path... were all love notes left for me... and while I enjoyed some and cursed some others... at that one moment... everything clicked and I realized who had Authored those notes... and then I realized that I was so lavishly loved... and to whom I was meant to be with.
That for which she longs
is that for which she belongs - Linda Dillow
I also read about the 2 blind men who called out to Jesus. Jesus stopped and asked them, "what do you want Me to do for you?"
Why would he ask that? Is it not completely obvious what they want? Their heart's desire is for their greatest deficit to become restored and made whole, complete, and functional again. Maybe He just wanted them to ask.
And then I thought about myself. If you were to look at me... look at my life... if you had to say, "oh that girl there... that's the [fill in the blank]"... what would you fill in that blank for me?
Am I... the nurse? Am I... that Asian girl? That bio major? The one who writes those long, boring blogs? What would you say, really? I want to know. Curious.
For me... the characteristic that stands out most to me... the aspect that has defined me more than any other... is... that I am a widow.
And what would the widow ask for? Like the blind men... I think any widow would ask for his/her greatest deficit to be restored. It is that for which our hearts ache for, isn't it? The situation that we wake up to every single day and wish that it weren't so?
Sometimes, I think I fear asking for it. I know I have. But I asked it in timidity... and then moved on as if it were some shameful thing to ask for. Is that how you would ask for the greatest desire of your heart?
Put the first things first and the second things will be added to you. Put the second things first and you will have nothing. -me paraphrasing James Shin
Hm. I'm having a hard time ending this. I'm not super sad but it's starting to sound that way.
Let me see... what did the blind men say to Jesus... they said, "Lord, we want our eyes to be opened." Did they say that because it had a double meaning or did they want both their literal and figurative eyes to be opened by the only One who could do both?
For me... how would I ask it... more than just the literal... if when we were married... the two became one flesh, one heart, one mind... and then the one became half... then... would I ask for my half to be made whole again? I should seriously ponder what I ask, especially since... God's been saying "as you wish" so very often to me.
Maybe... even more amazing... is the day that I realize that I truly love Him back... and instead of asking Him... I say instead... "as You wish". And let that be all I ever say to Him. :) Cue music.